Torrential downpours which have been lashing the southeast Spain since December 17, 2016, have caused severe flooding. Five people died from drowning by late December 20, according to media reports.
Over 400 mm (15.8 inches) of precipitation was reported in some areas over the last couple of days. 433.2 mm (17 inches) of rainfall was observed in Beniarrés in the period between December 16 and 19 while 398.6 mm (15.7 inches) lashed Pinet, at the same time, according to Agencia Estatal de Meteorologia (AEMET).
72-hr rainfall accumulation as observed by the GPM Core Observatory. Image credit: Google/NASA/JAXA/GPM
In a 24 hour period by December 19, 188.8 mm (7.4 inches) of rainfall was recorded in Barx, Valencia, 128.6 mm (5 inches) in Ontinyent, 94.6 mm (3.7 inches) in Alcoy, Alicante, 90.4 mm (3.6 inches) in Pego, and 83.6 mm (3.3 inches) in Carcaixent, Valencia. At the same time, 40 mm (1.6 inches) was reported in Moratalla, Murcia, 36.8 mm (1.4 inches) in Yecla, and 32.3 mm (1.3 inches) in San Javier Aeropuerto, Murcia.
In a 24 hour period by December 18, 61.4 mm (2.4 inches) of precipitation was recorded in Torre-Pacheco, Murcia, 149.9 mm (5.9 inches) in San Javier Aeropuerto, 117.4 mm (4.6 inches) in Alhama de Murcia, 94.2 mm (3.7 inches) in Murcia, 73.8 mm (2.9 inches) in Bullas, and 116.6 mm (4.6 inches) in Carcaixent. At the same time, Barx reported 93.4 mm (3.7 inches), Orihuela in Alicante 88.6 mm (3.5 inches), Rojales 78.6 mm (3 inches), and Enguera-Navalón in Valencia 74.4 mm (2.9 inches).
Flooding in the Albaida valley, Spain, December 20, 2016. Image credit: Marta Marley and Vincent Tormo via Avamet Predicció (posted by Severe Weather Europe)
In a 24 hour period by December 17, 107.8 mm (4.2 inches) of rainfall was received by Buñol and 106.8 mm (4.2 inches) was reported by Enguera-Navalón in Valencia while other areas recorded between 49.4 and 76.6 mm (1.9 and 3 inches) of precipitation.
The regions of Valencia and Murcia were hit the hardest. Widespread traffic disruptions and road blockages have been reported, and schools have closed.
Hundreds of people have been forced to evacuate, and at least 350 rescues have been performed by the emergency services in the areas of Los Alcazares, Murcia, San Javier and Torre Pacheco. Emergency service in Murcia reported 2 773 emergency calls since December 17.
Video credit: Aifen Oro via YouTube
Level 2 emergency alert plan was put in effect on December 18, and armed forces have been deployed to aid in affected areas. Schools have been closed since December 19 across 28 municipalities in Murcia.
The rainfall will likely move toward Catalonia and the Balearic Islands in the coming days, and orange level alerts have been issued accordingly.
Unprecedented amounts of rain have caused severe flash flooding in parts of southern Spain over the weekend, culminating on Sunday, December 4, 2016. At least two people have been killed.
Meteorologists say a massive 200 liters of water per cubic meter fell in just 12 hours. Some reports mention 50 to 60 mm (2 to 2.4 inches) within 1 hour.
The city of Malaga and other parts of Costa Del Sol in Andalusia suffered widespread flooding and chaos.
Emergency services said there were more than 600 emergency incidents.
Local police said it was the worst rain since 1989.
According to The Olive Press, electricity has been cut off in large parts of Manilva and Sabinillas as roads are turned into rivers. Roads have also been shut in Estepona and Marbella after rivers burst their banks and drains blocked up, with thousands of homes facing flooding.